Who we are Bocalán Argentina is a civil society organization that has been working for more than 7 years in Argentina on the basis of two main areas: Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) Training and Placement of Assistance Dogs for children with autism and people with physical disabilities. Our job is aimed at any activity where people and animals interact. The aim of Animal-Assisted Interventions is to improve the quality of life of participants and their close relatives. These people and their families manage to gain autonomy in their daily lives as a result of assistance dogs training and acquisition.
Acknowledgements Our organization has received the following endorsements and acknowledgements: Bocalán Argentina is the second entity in Latin America to be recognized as candidate to join Assistance Dogs International (ADI is the leading entity that governs, on international basis, all NGOs training assistance dogs.) It is a full member of Animal Assisted Intervention International It was declared of socio-sanitary interest by the Buenos Aires City Legislature. It was declared of interest by the National Congress of Argentina on the grounds of the First Delivery of Assistance Dogs.
This year, Bocalán carried out the 7th delivery of dogs to six children with autism, reaching a total of almost 30 dogs delivered through the program and significantly improving their quality of life and social integration. Besides, this is the only organization in Argentina that delivers trained dogs to children with autism.
What does Bocalán do? Programs and actions. • Training and placement of assistance dogs to individuals with physical disabilities and children with ASDs. • Training: courses and further sessions, such as Handler Training Course and Animal Assisted Interventions Course. Bocalán is the only reference in Argentina that offers them. • Pet training. • Engagement in forums and spaces of influence to pass laws that benefit the users of assistance dogs as regards their circulation in public spaces. • Workshops and motivational speeches in companies.
Animal-Assisted Intervention Programs We are currently working within different therapeutic contexts. We have our own private office where children attend to individual consultations. A team of health professionals (psychologists, psycho-motility therapists and occupational therapists) works with each patient individually. We also take action in private care spaces, such as nursing homes, therapeutic and educational centers and rehabilitation clinics where a team of professionals -health professionals, handler and dog- attends to work with various collectives as a group. We work with the elderly who suffer from cognitive disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive impairment) and motor skills disorders (loss of mobility.)
Animal-Assisted Intervention Programs Hired by Buenos Aires City Government, we coordinate the program “Perros que ayudan” (Dogs that Help), a pioneering and unique initiative in our country. Through this program, we provide attention for patients who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder at waiting areas and doctors’ offices in the psychiatric emergency department of two public hospitals in the city. We also work at old people’s homes in nurses´ stations -where most of the people are bedridden- and in group workshops for individuals with motor impairment. Moreover, we conduct dog assisted therapy in halfway houses, where young people and adults who suffer from mental health issues live self-sufficiently as they seek to reach a more independent life.
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